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Litter Pilgrimages

Please consider giving an hour or so to help clean up our neighborhood. Saturday, November 11, 2023, 10-11:30am

Pope Francis has urged us to move away from our throwaway culture, in which both goods and people are easily discarded. “Rather than waste what we have, let us disseminate an ecology of justice and charity!” 1

Once a month, parishioners from St Pat’s, St Malachi’s and other member churches of the West Side Creation Care Team walk the streets of the near West Side to show our gratitude for God’s wondrous creation by praying and picking up trash and recyclables. We hope you will join us.

Share an hour or so of your time on Saturday, November 11. Meet at 10am at Miriam Ortiz-Rush Park, at W 75th and Madison (Cleveland 44102).  We gather outside for a short prayer, then pick up trash and recyclables on neighborhood streets, and close in prayer at 11:30.Volunteers can choose a specific area to work in pairs, alone, or in small groups.


Bring work gloves, but we’ll have some in case you forget. Bags provided. You could bring a small bucket because it’s easier to maneuver than a plastic bag.

Questions: contact

Thank you for your care for our neighborhood and for all of God’s creation.

About the Litter Pilgrimage

In his encyclical letter Laudato Si’, Pope Francis invites us to examine our actions that have caused ruptures in our relationship with God’s creation. 2 We recognize that as a children of God, we are called to restore our relationships with God the creator, with our sisters and brothers in our one human family, and with all of God’s creatures dwelling within our common home. To truly live as people who celebrate life and resurrection, we know we must carve out time to renew, repair, and restore these sacred relationships.

As Genesis 9:15 reminds us, God’s covenant is not only with humans but with “every living creature.” The word “creation” itself evokes meanings that transcend artificial divides between the “human” and “nature.” “Creation” signals the truth of our interconnected reality.  When we use the word “creation” (instead of “eco”; or “environment”), we demonstrate our humble self-awareness that we are part of the created order. Moreover, we recognize that our Creator is constantly working with us to redeem and sustain all of creation. 3

Why a pilgrimage?

As people of faith, we are a community of pilgrims, on journey together towards life in all its fullness. The journey can be transformative—a way to discover ourselves anew in new relationships with God’s creation and with each other. As pilgrims, we walk together and invite others along the way to journey with us for the healing and reconciliation of the suffering and brokenness of this world. 4

Practically speaking…

We will pick up several dozen garbage bags of trash and recyclables that would otherwise blow down the hill or down the storm drains and end up in our river and beautiful Lake Erie. Our great lake is the source of drinking water for 11 million people. Let’s do our part to protect her.

Please join us on Saturday, November 11. Meet at 10am at Miriam Ortiz-Rush Park, at W. 75th and Madison Ave.  We gather outside for a short prayer, then pick up trash and recyclables on neighborhood streets, and close in prayer at 11:30.

Prayer for Stewardship of Creation

Creator God, grant us the will to move forward on our pilgrimage to generate transformative changes in our hearts, our minds, our congregations, our neighborhood, and our world. Guide and inspire us so that our pilgrimage will open us to one another through dynamic and considerate interaction, joining together for the care of Your amazing creation that fills us with wonder and awe. God of life, lead us to be living instruments of Your justice, Your peace, and Your renewal of all creation. Amen.

Prayer for a Sabbath for Our Planet

At Your word, Earth brought forth plants yielding seed and trees of every kind bearing fruit. The rivers, mountains, minerals, seas and forests sustained life.

In Your wisdom, you granted a Sabbath—a blessed time to rest in gratitude for all that you have given; a time to liberate ourselves from vicious consumption; a time to allow the land and all creatures to rest from the burden of production.

But these days our living pushes the planet beyond its limits. Our demands for growth and our never-ending cycle of production and consumption are exhausting our world.

The forests are leached, the topsoil erodes, the fields fail, the deserts advance, the seas acidify, and the storms intensify. We have not allowed the land to observe her Sabbath, and the Earth is struggling to be renewed.

During this season, we ask you to grant us courage to observe a Sabbath for our planet. Strengthen us with the faith to trust in your providence. Inspire us with the creativity to share what we have been given. Teach us to be satisfied with enough. And as we proclaim a Jubilee for the Earth, send Your Holy Spirit to renew the face of creation.

In the name of the One who came to proclaim good news to all creation, Jesus Christ. Amen.

“All of us can cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation, each according to his or her own culture, experience, involvements, and talents.”

– Pope Francis, Laudato Si’ , par. 14 5


  1. Vatican News: Pope at Angelus: “Poor in Spirit” Requires Us to Overcome Throwaway Culture” (Jan 29 2023)
  2. Laudato Si’ (Praise be to you, my Lord): On Care for Our Common Home (May 2015)
  3. United Church of Christ – Environmental Ministries
  4. World Council of Churches – an invitation to the pilgrimage of justice and peace
  5. Laudato Si’ (Praise be to you, my Lord): On Care for Our Common Home (May 2015)